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Six indicted by Multi-County Grand Jury in connection with large-scale illegal marijuana operations

Six indicted by Multi-County Grand Jury in connection with large-scale illegal marijuana operations

The Multi-County Grand Jury indicted six individuals on March 7 in connection with two separate large-scale seizures of illegal marijuana by the Office of the Attorney General’s Organized Crime Task Force (OCTF) and its partner law enforcement agencies.

Attorney General Gentner Drummond praised the work of the OCTF and the federal, tribal, state and local agencies it routinely works with to combat illegal marijuana operations and other criminal activity.

“The menace of illegal marijuana grows run by foreign nationals is a dire threat to public safety in Oklahoma,” said Drummond. “This threat can only be eliminated through the concerted efforts of dedicated law enforcement professionals like the ones responsible for securing today’s indictments. My office will continue to do everything within our power to protect public safety.”

In the first case, jurors indicted Paul Wayne Baxter, 67; Beng Di Chan, 46; Min Yong Chen, 56; Zeng Chen Lau, 54; and Chen Fu Lin, 36, for conspiracy to defraud the State in relation to a Nov. 16, 2023, marijuana seizure in Pottawatomie County. At that time, OCTF agents and Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA) compliance inspectors and agents were serving warrants at several marijuana grow facilities near Prague. That sweep yielded more than 77,000 untraceable and untagged marijuana plants, nearly 2,000 pounds of untraceable and untagged harvested marijuana plants, and an assortment of firearms. District Attorney Adam Panter’s Drug Task Force also assisted in the operation.

Baxter faces five counts of aggravated manufacturing of a controlled dangerous substance (marijuana), while Beng, Min, Zeng and Chen face one count apiece.  Min is charged with possession of an offensive weapon while in commission of a felony, while he and Baxter face one count each of possession of proceeds from illegal activity. All five are accused of submitting false information to the OMMA about the true ownership of Cannabaxter Farms. All the charges are felonies.

In the second case, Kangbin Lee, 29, is indicted on six felony counts stemming from a Jan. 11 bust at Monster Farms in Muskogee. He faces one count each of aggravated trafficking of a controlled dangerous substance in excess of 1,000 pounds of marijuana, manufacturing a controlled dangerous substance (marijuana), trafficking of a controlled dangerous substance in excess of 25 pounds of marijuana, possession of an offensive weapon while in the commission of a felony, possession of proceeds from unlawful activity, and a pattern of criminal offenses.

In addition to OCTF agents, the operation included the OMMA and the Muskogee County Sheriff’s Office. The Muskogee investigation led to an alleged half-million-dollar marijuana “stash house” in Bixby, where the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office and the Bixby Police Department assisted in uncovering additional marijuana and several firearms.

The bust originated with information received on the Attorney General’s Illegal Marijuana Tipline. A complaint form is available at oag.ok.gov by clicking on the “Illegal Marijuana Tipline” tab. Tips also can be sent to illegalgrow@oag.ok.gov. Tipsters can remain anonymous.

Established through state law, the OCTF works closely with federal, tribal, state, county and local law enforcement agencies to investigate crimes related to illegal marijuana grow operations, including human trafficking and the distribution of fentanyl and other deadly drugs.

Every person arrested or indicted is presumed innocent unless and until convicted in a court of law.

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